Richer, deeper, bolder

Two secret flavour-boosting ingredients are exciting chefs these days: coffee and tea. The perks? A robustness and complexity that makes your dishes daring and delicious. Plus, the brews’ antioxidants are mega-healthy. Here, inspired recipes that will shake up – and wake up – your palate.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Two secret flavour-boosting ingredients are exciting chefs these days: coffee and tea. The perks? A robustness and complexity that makes your dishes daring and delicious. Plus, the brews’ antioxidants are mega-healthy. Here, inspired recipes that will shake up – and wake up – your palate.

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Hibiscus-glazed Halibut With Zucchini Noodles 




> ¾ cup balsamic vinegar 

> ½ cup water 

> 8cm piece ginger, cut into thin rounds > 2 tsp finely ground hibiscus tea 

> 2 tbsp honey 

> 680g halibut, cut into 4 pieces 

> 4 tsp extra-virgin olive oil 

> 1 leek, white and pale-green parts only, thinly sliced and rinsed well 

> 2 garlic cloves, minced 

> 4 small zucchini (about 790g), spiralled, or 170g packaged zucchini noodles 

> Kosher salt 

> Freshly ground pepper 

> ½ cup pomegranate seeds, for garnish

1. In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, water, ginger and tea to a boil. Lower the heat and let it gently simmer for 5 minutes. Strain the mixture, pressing the leaves against the strainer with the back of a spoon, then return liquid to the pan. Add honey and simmer over low heat for 20 minutes or until it is reduced to about ½ cup. Brush fish with the sauce and then set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons of oil in a cast-iron or ovenproof skillet. Saute leeks over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, until they are softened and slightly browned. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds more.

3. Use paper towels to pat zucchini noodles dry and add them to the skillet. Use tongs to toss with leeks and garlic, cooking for around 4 minutes more until al dente. Remove from heat, toss with salt and pepper to taste, and divide noodles among 4 plates.

4. Season fish with salt and pepper. Place pan over medium-high heat, cooking off any liquid left from the vegetables, then add remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Add fish, skin side up. After 4 minutes, flip and brush with more hibiscus sauce and continue to cook for 3 to 4 more minutes until fish is cooked through and flakes easily. If desired, flip the fish again, brush with sauce, and place in the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes to caramelise the glaze.

5. Place a fillet on each plate of noodles, drizzle with sauce, and garnish with pomegranate seeds.

Nutrition facts per serving

317 calories, 7g fat (1.2g saturated), 27g carbohydrate, 34g protein, 2g fibre, 210mg sodium.

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Coffee-infused Pulled Chicken Tacos




> 1 tbsp ground coffee, plus 1½ cups strongly brewed coffee 

> 1 tbsp chipotle chilli powder 

> 2 tsp ground cumin 

> 1¾ tsp kosher salt 

> ½ tsp freshly ground pepper, plus more for seasoning 

> 900g boneless chicken thighs and breasts 

> 1 tsp liquid smoke 

> ¼ cup pure maple syrup 

> ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons cider vinegar > 4 tsp Dijon mustard 

> 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce 

> 1 can tomato paste (170g) 

> 1 yellow onion, chopped 

> 3 garlic cloves, smashed and coarsely chopped 

> 1 small red onion, thinly sliced 

> 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 

> 6 tbsp plain whole-milk yogurt 

> 2 tbsp lime juice plus 2 tsp zest 

> 450g Brussels sprouts, trimmed and thinly sliced 

> 1 cup diced mango 

> ⅓ cup chopped cilantro 

> 12 small corn tortillas 

1. Preheat the oven to 160 deg C. In a small bowl, stir together the ground coffee, chilli powder, cumin, 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Coat the chicken with the dry rub and set aside.

2. In a Dutch oven, stir together brewed coffee, liquid smoke, 2 tablespoons maple syrup, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 2 teaspoons mustard, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, yellow onion and garlic. Place the chicken in the liquid, cover the pot, and transfer to the centre rack of oven for about 90 minutes, until chicken is fork tender.

3. In a medium bowl, stir together remaining ¾ cup vinegar, remaining 2 tablespoons maple syrup, and ¼ teaspoon salt. Submerge red onion in the mixture and set aside at room temperature for at least an hour, until ready to serve tacos.

4. In a large bowl, whisk together oil, yogurt, remaining 2 teaspoons mustard, remaining ½ teaspoon salt, and the lime juice and zest. Add Brussels sprouts and mango, and toss to coat. Add cilantro and pepper, and toss again. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, until ready to serve tacos. 

5. When chicken is done, remove pan from the oven and transfer chicken to a cutting board. Use two forks to shred chicken. Skim any fat off the top of the sauce, then return chicken to the pot and stir to combine. 

6. Remove Brussels sprout/mango slaw from the refrigerator and toss. Drain the onions. Heat the tortillas in a dry skillet over medium heat, 30 seconds per side. Serve chicken on tortillas with slaw and pickled onions.

Nutrition facts per serving

468 calories, 12g fat (2.4g saturated), 51g carbohydrate, 39g protein, 8g fibre, 796mg sodium.

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Green Tea Coconut Rice




> 400ml coconut milk

> 2 tbsp loose jasmine green tea

> 1 cup basmati rice

> 1 tsp kosher salt

> 2 tsp extra-virgin coconut oil 

> 1 shallot, finely chopped > 4 small golden beets, peeled and cut into eighths > 3 cups red cabbage, finely chopped 

> 340g asparagus, cut into 5cm pieces

> ½ cup peas

> Freshly ground pepper

1. Pour the coconut milk into a large measuring cup and add enough water to equal 2 cups of liquid. Transfer the mixture to a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, add tea, and steep for 7 minutes. Strain, pressing the tea leaves against the strainer, then return brewed mixture to the saucepan.

2. Add the rice and ½ teaspoon salt to the saucepan and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 20 minutes or until rice is tender. (Add more water after 15 minutes, if necessary.)

3. Meanwhile, melt the coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the shallot for 2 minutes or until softened. Add beets and saute for 3 minutes more. Add ¼ cup water and continue to cook for 2 more minutes or so, stirring continually. Add cabbage, asparagus and another ¼ cup water and cook 3 to 4 more minutes. Add peas and stir for 1 to 2 minutes more, until the vegetables are cooked through. Sprinkle with the remaining ½ teaspoon salt and season with pepper.

4. Add cooked rice to the skillet and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Nutrition facts per serving

417 calories, 19g fat (16.3g saturated), 54g carbohydrate, 8g protein, 6g fibre, 392mg sodium 

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Carrot Daikon Salad With Matcha Dressing




> 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

> 2 tbsp plain low-fat Greek yogurt

> 1 tsp lemon juice 

> 2 tsp honey 

> ½ tsp Dijon mustard 

> ½ tsp matcha 

> Kosher salt 

> Freshly ground pepper 

> 340g daikon, julienned 

> 340g carrots, julienned 

> 1 bunch radishes, julienned 

> 1 bunch watercress 

> ¼ cup chives, chopped, for garnish

1. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, yogurt, lemon juice, honey, mustard, matcha, and salt and pepper to taste. Add water as needed to reach the consistency of heavy cream.

2. Put daikon, carrots and radishes in a large bowl. Add dressing, toss, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

3. Place watercress on a serving dish and top with dressed salad. Garnish with chives.

Nutrition facts per serving

165 calories, 11g fat (1.6g saturated), 16g carbohydrate, 3g protein, 4g fibre, 190mg sodium

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No-bake Earl Grey Chocolate Tart




> ¾ cup almond milk 

> 2 tbsp plus 2 tsp loose Earl Grey tea leaves 

> ½ cup almonds, sliced, plus more for garnish if desired 

> ½ cup rolled oats 

> ¼ cup coconut oil, melted 

> 8 large pitted dates 

> 60 per cent bittersweet chocolate (170g), roughly chopped

> ½ cup low-fat Greek yogurt

> 12 raspberries

1. In a small saucepan, bring the almond milk to a simmer. Remove from heat and add 2 tablespoons tea. Steep for 7 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, place the remaining 2 teaspoons tea, ½ cup almonds and oats in a food processor and process until finely ground. Add the coconut oil and dates, and continue to process until the crumbs stick when pressed together. Divide the mixture among four 10cm tart pans, and press into the bottoms and up the sides of the pans.

3. Strain the milk with a fine sieve, pushing tea leaves against the sieve with the back of a spoon. Then discard the leaves and return milk to the saucepan. Gently bring it back to a simmer and then remove from heat. Add the chocolate and set aside for 5 minutes.

4. Whisk the chocolate and milk mixture until smooth. Add yogurt and continue to whisk until smooth. Divide among prepared tart pans and chill for at least 90 minutes. Top with raspberries and garnish with sliced almonds if desired.

Nutrition facts per serving

224 calories, 16g fat (10.7g saturated), 22g carbohydrate, 4g protein, 3g fibre, 20mg sodium